Bead Stringing: What Supplies Do I Need?

You have two basic options for bead stringing: either beading needles and beading thread, or beading wire, crimp beads and crimping pliers. You will also need a clasp and a way to connect your thread or wire to the clasp, like a jump ring or bead tip.

Stringing With Thread

Needles For regular stringing, twisted-wire needles work well as the large eye closes to fit through the beads. For seed beads, use beading needles. These resemble sewing needles but are usually longer and thinner. The larger the number, the thinner the needle (to match sizes of seed beads).
Thread Several fibers spun into a single strand. Beading thread is made of nylon and is used in beadweaving and loomwork. Other types of thread used in beading include decorative cords such as rattail.
Glue Bead cement or craft glue can be used to keep thread knots from unraveling or keep small pieces in place. Temporary glue can be used to hold work together while assembling it. Use craft glues, or one of the several glues specifically designed for beadwork.
Callotte Metal findings that cover the knot at the end of a string of beads. Callottes (also called clam shells) clamp sideways onto the knot. Tying the knot around a seed bead and adding a drop of glue secures the knot. Close the callotte with pliers and snip the excess thread. Also called clamshells or bead tips.

Stringing With Beading Wire

Beading Wire
Beading Wire A thin wire or cable made from braiding several strands of thin steel wire together and then coating them with nylon. It is stiff so it does not require a needle to use. Brands of beading wire include Accu-flex, Beadalon, and Soft Flex. Beading wire is extremely strong and durable, although it is prone to kinking. Beading wire cannot be tied in a knot like thread, so jewelry must be finished using crimp beads.
Crimping Pliers
Crimping Pliers Specialized pliers for squishing crimp beads. Recommended for those who plan to use crimp beads often.
Crimp Beads
Crimp Beads Crimp beads are small metal beads that you squish (crimp) onto beading wire to make the beads stay where you want them, or connect beading wire to a jump ring or clasp. They can be corrugated or smooth.

Other Stringing Materials

Cord Cord is thicker than thread and usually a woven product. Many materials are used to make cord for beading, such as satin, leather, suede, hemp, flax, silk, and nylon.
Monofilament Clear plastic thread used for fishing line. It is almost transparent and requires no needle, but is easily stretched and cut, so you may not wish to use it for finished jewelry if durability is a concern. It is useful for trying out designs. It's also great for the invisible floating necklace look. Buy Illusion Cord


Bead Spinner
Bead Spinner A bowl with a central spindle that makes it easier and faster to string strands of seed beads or liquid silver. A curved beading needle is placed in the beads in the bowl and threads them as you spin the bowl. Buy Spin-N-Bead
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